2011-02-24 / Front Page

Another 14 horses are sick, quarantined


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I was very surprised that you

I was very surprised that you actually printed anonymous responses to the allegation of animal cruelty against Don Gatz. These are serious charges whether true or not. You have opened the doors for people to judge, try, and sentence without benefit of jury in a true court of law. How would you expect Mr. Gatz to get a fair trial now if he does go to trial? I also find it cowardly by those who would have the gall to express their opinion without using their names. If a person is going to have their opinion posted in the newspaper whether good or bad have the decency to post your name as well. Peaches Sea

Please read lower post first.

Please read lower post first. Nearby a semi truck trailer was loaded with horses and ready to roll; I had already decided to take a horse home with me – I figured why not save one off the trailer? I found Copper a well-bred Quarter horse that had suffered a broken sesamoid (a bone in the pastern (ankle), so the owners threw him away. He was the 4th horse from the back and I unloaded him myself. His left hind was the size of a grapefruit and he was scared. A week after I got him home he came down with Strangles. The Gatz ranch is a Strangles breeding ground; the disease will stay in the ground for years unless its disinfected and Gatz doesn’t care. Horses have been used for “tripping,” been left to starve, and even slaughtered on his property for years. I have seen first hand how this “horseman” treats animals and these charges have been a long time coming, so the comments you have read are justified. Sadly, he’ll probably just get a fine and go back to “business as usual”

To Peaches Sea: In Feb 2006 I

To Peaches Sea: In Feb 2006 I went to Don Gatz head quarters ranch in Patterson because I was told he had horses for sale. What I saw when I arrived made me sick. There were 75-100 pens (approx 12x12), in every one was a horse, the feeders didn't have hay but instead they contained "fodder." Fodder consists of whatever is raked up in the orchards, in this case it was an almond orchard: twigs, molded leaves, almond husks, etc.-compost. The water troughs contained filthy water. The horses were standing in mud, urine, and manure, the pens were never cleaned. Most were frightened, but the saddest were the ones who had given up standing, their noses almost touching the muck. It was cold and raining and there were no shelters for protection. As I was walking through the rows of pens I came to the sick realization that Gatz was indeed a Killer Buyer. to be continued...

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